Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a wooden house in Polperro, a development in the Midlands and a flat in Shropshire to learn how much each sold for at auction.
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Hello and welcome to the programme.
Now they say home is where the heart is
but is your heart in buying property from an auction?
Well, on today's show we'll be meeting people who
put their heart and soul into buying homes under the hammer.
Buying property at auction can be a road to success.
But there are risks involved, so it's important to tread carefully.
Yes, even the most experienced developers can make mistakes.
But what inspired people to go to the auctions in the first
place on today's show?
Fancy living in a beautiful Cornish fishing village? Well,
this two-bedroom bungalow could have been yours for under 125 grand.
We revisit this plot in the West Midlands where the purchaser
planned to build 10 houses and make an amazing 700,000 quid.
And what about an ideal investment opportunity in Telford, Shropshire?
The guide price for this three-bed maisonette was only 35 grand.
-All these properties went to auction...
-..and we'll find out who bought them
and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
I'm in the idyllic fishing village of Polperro on the south
coast of Cornwall.
It is an outstandingly beautiful spot.
But it's also got history -
both in fishing and smuggling, and you get a sense of that
in the fisherman's cottages, the narrow alleyways and roads.
So it is, without a doubt, an artist's dream.
But, is it a property investor's dream too?
Back in the 18th century, a lot of the smugglers
and privateers of Polperro were becoming very rich indeed.
The village continues to retain a feel of those long-gone days
of swashbuckling and skulduggery.
The craggy rocks whisper secrets of ship wrecks, hidden cargo
and contraband being unloaded in the dead of night.
No wonder tourism flourishes here all year round.
So there is absolutely no doubt that Polperro is a beautiful place,
both to live and come on holiday, so I'm immediately thinking
holiday lets, and this property could be ideal.
It's a colonial-style two-bedroom bungalow.
The guide price was £110,000-125,000.
Got to be worth a look.
The property has a timber construction and sits on a hill.
One of those properties that I can't wait to see what I find inside.
A little porch area you come through, a little ante area here.
Off which is the bathroom.
And then through into the first of your, sort of, living room areas.
A kitchen there, definitely in need of some tender loving care
The whole house, obviously, is back in a certain era.
Look at the ceiling, very unusual.
And this room though, a nice sized living room.
An open fire.
Judging by the fact that you've got these storage radiators, no central
heating so that's something you need to factor into your costings.
And it may well be that there's no services such as gas here
so you're limited perhaps to what kind of fuel for your central
heating that you'd definitely want to put in.
But it's nice, it's charming.
It's got these bedrooms off here and then something really strange.
I really can't get a handle on that.
# Open up the door
# Open up the door. #
A door going nowhere? Very odd.
At the other end of the room is the second bedroom which,
like the first, also has plumbing.
But, oh, boy, those corner basins are a throwback to the '70s.
The dated kitchen will need a refit but I'd try to retain some of those
quirky timber features which give this house its wonderful character.
Well, carrying on the slightly dated
and in need of modernisation theme, the bathroom here,
it's not a bad size but as you can see, the suite needs replacing.
Maybe bringing in the whole feeling of the seaside wood panelling,
you know the kind of thing.
But in this day and age of DVDs and televisions in the bathroom, which you can get now,
I love this.
An old car radio. You don't see that with much frequency.
Somebody was on a very strange wavelength.
Now, one thing you'll have lots of in this place is sunlight.
The whole house has been built to make the most of this Cornish
weather and idyllic views.
And that sun porch is just divine.
The charming garden wraps around the front and side.
I love the way the property makes the most of its elevated position.
Here at the back you can see how we really are built into this bank
but look at this.
It's sort of slate and this is the kind of thing
they try to create in garden centres.
You buy pumps and expensive bits of kit to enable you to have
this water dribbling across stones effect
and here it's just natural. You've got these beautiful plants.
You've got the trickling of the water.
You've got the cobwebs and the dew. You get the idea.
The property went to auction with a guide price of £110,000 to £125,000.
There's only one fly in the ointment
and that is because the house is of wooden construction
and therefore non-standard, it may well not be straightforward
to get a mortgage on it.
That could limit its appeal
and saleability to a cash purchaser only.
That's just one of the many reasons you should always read
the legal pack before making a bid.
Well, I'm certainly falling for this property.
To find out more about its potential as a holiday let or rental property,
we asked the auctioneer who sold it for his opinions on it.
Polperro and this part of West Cornwall
is just a haven for holiday-makers
and the bungalow has the potential to instantly,
virtually over a weekend, create the third bedroom
out of the second reception room, which is a bit surplus these days.
You'd be constantly booked up
because this part of the West Country is just where everyone wants to come.
Well, little wonder.
Of course, if you really want,
you could even look at getting planning permission
to extend out to the side, here,
or even up through the attic to create a fourth bedroom,
and the next question is -
what income could holiday letting produce?
As a holiday let, you could be looking at
between £650 and £850 per week,
depending if you had the two or three-bedroom version
or four-bedroom version and what time of year it was.
Well, there's a good year-round demand for holiday lets
but what about a more permanent tenant?
How much could that produce?
As a two or three-bedroom bungalow,
you'd be looking at about £650 per calendar month
to £750 per calendar month.
If you added a fourth bedroom,
you could be tiptoeing towards £800 per calendar month.
What could the place be worth after refurbishment,
configured as three bedrooms?
In that form,
as nice as it could be, it's going to be between £225,000 and £250,000.
If you extend the bungalow to create four bedrooms,
you're going to be looking at £250,000 to £275,000.
Well, what is there not to love about this place?
A few issues about financing it, perhaps,
but fantastic location, charm by the bucket-load, and so many options.
Lovely place to live, you could rent it out as a holiday let,
or just have it as a bolthole in beautiful Cornwall.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 111, Polperro, Looe, in Cornwall.
Elevated bungalow, it's two beds,
just a short walk down to the harbour.
Won't start at less than 100, won't waste your time. 100,000 somewhere.
100, at 100. Got 100.
At 102. 102.
At 102. Is there four?
106, 108 or not?
-There was plenty of interest on auction day.
We rejoin the bidding at 117,000.
At 117, at 117.
And a half? Yep. 117 and a half.
118, at 118.
You cannot say that's dear. He goes a half. 118 and a half.
119. At 119. At 119.
119 and a half.
At 120. At 120. Half.
120 and a half.
120 and a half.
At 120 and a half once...
..at 120 and a half twice. It's going out left at 120 and a half.
Congratulations, you, sir.
No wonder the successful purchaser looked so happy.
Nikki got her friend Rob to bid for her
and had only arrived at the auction in the nick of time.
I met her at her new purchase to find out more.
-Nikki, great to meet you.
-Nice to meet you too.
-I can't believe you got this for that price.
Nor can I, and it was very unexpected
cos I actually wasn't going to bid for it initially.
You weren't going to bid for it?
-No, I came completely for a different property.
And then this one came up and in the car on the way down
I looked at this one and as I walked into the auction house
it was coming to the end, managed to get my card, bid for it,
bid against somebody else and I got it.
-How much research on it had you done?
Looked at it in the car on the way down.
You could have really messed up doing that,
you know that, don't you?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Blimey! "Nothing ventured." But potentially a lot to lose.
Nikki had no time to read the legal pack so took a big risk.
At least she was a cash buyer,
so the potential problem of obtaining finance
due to the non-standard construction of the house wasn't an issue.
But it wasn't just the property that Nikki hadn't seen.
I knew nothing about Polperro, nothing about the place at all.
I initially went to the auction to buy a place in Torquay.
So you just happened to buy somewhere not only in probably
one of the most beautiful parts of Cornwall,
possibly one of the most beautiful parts of the country,
possibly one of the most beautiful parts of the world?!
-Yeah, just by chance.
-At what point did you see the house for real?
Directly after the auction, we drove up here
and sort of peered through the windows,
then went down to the beach
and walked round the village and thought, "It's a magic village".
-So what do you do?
At the moment, I'm saying, "retired".
-And I sold my house in London.
-Bought two properties, looking to buy probably another one to develop.
And then I will find myself a job. I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
-What did you do previously?
-Used to be a nurse.
Pre-cancer specialist, but I got ill a couple of times last year
and twice this year, and I think it was time for me to leave.
And time for me to leave London.
I must imagine that is a terribly fulfilling
but terribly hard job you were doing as well.
Yeah, took its toll.
I think they call it burn-out.
After Nikki got ill for the second time with pneumonia,
she decided it was time to move away from London.
I thought, "Right, that's it."
I closed my eyes, put my finger on the map.
-Ended up in Torquay.
Got a train down here, liked it, went back,
put my house on the market, sold it, then I left.
Do you believe in guiding spirits and things?
Yes, I do!
Someone's looking after me.
Her bidding friend, Rob,
who just happens to be a property developer,
is going to do the renovation work for her,
hopefully within the next two to three months.
She's set aside a budget £15,000 to £20,000 and plans to get some return
on the place as a holiday let during the summer,
and possibly a six-month let over the winter months.
She might even move down here herself.
I was keen to hear about her refurbishment plans.
I'm going to leave that to Rob, really,
because I think the walls need to be looked at
to see what they're made out of, get the carpets up,
wooden floors, and actually do it
in quite a nice, expensive style, but I don't want to make it too modern.
I want to maintain that cottagey effect,
but all the appliances in there will be brand-new.
Some interesting features like the door,
which goes to nowhere. Well, doesn't open.
-It's a magic door.
-It's a magic door, is it?
-Are you going to leave that?
-I might do, actually.
But some of the features of the kitchen I'm definitely going to keep,
cos I've got the old cupboards and the old larders.
And are you going to get involved in any of this work?
Oh, I'll come down, yeah. I'll come down.
When it's getting down I'll get involved.
I want to do all the garden myself.
So how do you feel about where you are in your life now?
In a very good space now.
I've changed my life round, a whole new start.
I'm going to hit 50 next year and I thought, "If I don't do it now,
"I'll never do it", and I've done it now.
-Well, listen, lovely to meet you.
-Congratulations for everything.
-Come and visit me again.
-I will, for sure.
-If you need a holiday let...
A holiday let, OK, I know where to come. Well, I love Polperro.
-Give you cheap price!
-I'd love to take you up on that!
Well, what an extraordinary story, and all a bit random,
but it does seem like things have turned out really well for Nikki
and I'm delighted for her.
An interesting property, some challenges ahead,
but what a fantastic place to own.
I can't wait to see what she does with it.
You can find out later in the show.
It was back in June 2011 that we first visited the next auction lot.
We started by visiting the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.
It's a fascinating recreation of life in the West Midlands
in its heyday as an industrial powerhouse.
That said, the lot I'm here to see in nearby Tipton
appears to owe more to a rural past than an industrial one.
It's at the end of a row of industrial units,
but the plot of land that was up for auction was, well,
It's here at a guide price of 98,000 to 103,000 quid.
Let's go and explore.
The plot was described as "virgin ground".
It's never been built upon, which should mean that
under all this greenery, there must be something of a blank canvass.
MUSIC: "Don't Fence Me In" by Cole Porter
So, what are the first impressions?
Well, access won't be a problem
cos the site's situated on the junction of two roads,
so all your building materials and things will be easily brought in,
and when you come to develop, easy access for the property themselves.
Also, you're likely to have services nearby, electricity, gas,
sewerage, that kind of stuff.
It's actually 0.64 acres, which is a fairly good size.
You should be able to get a fair number of houses on there.
It doesn't have planning permission as yet,
but what it does have is approval for development
and a provisional layout for ten houses has been agreed in principle.
MUSIC: Theme from Indiana Jones
Move over, Indiana Jones, I'm going in.
Now, you need to bear in mind that the council has only given
approval for development for the site, not planning permission
or even provisional planning, so it doesn't guarantee you anything,
but it does give you reassurance that the council want to see
the land developed in some way.
Well, as you can see, the site is currently a bit of a jungle,
but unless whoever bought it is into their nature stuff,
they probably want to clear this, don't they?
It's going to take a while just to get the site actually cleared.
The greenery is all well and good,
but does make gauging the size of the plot tricky.
On paper, ten three or four-bedroom homes on a 0.64-acre plot
does sound a bit tight to me, though it would be doable,
but is that necessarily the way forward for this bit of land?
What are you going to do with the plot? Should you build?
Well, we all know these are difficult times
in the property market. People can't get mortgages,
first-time buyers are finding it incredibly difficult.
Well, here's a clue as to what should be done with the plot,
cos right opposite there is this brand-new development
of 87 properties, so somebody obviously thinks the area's good
and there is demand,
so is that good news?
Well, on the one hand, it certainly brightens up the area
and, as I said, they think there's a demand,
so you can read into that what you like.
The bad news is, of course,
that could be potentially competition
and it's much bigger in terms of the development than this,
even if you built the maximum ten properties.
The worst-case scenario is that those properties don't sell
and no developer wants that.
But you've got to speculate to accumulate, as they say,
and if you're happy to be David to Goliath next door,
then I think there's a good chance of making money,
if you can put up those eight three-bed
and two four-bedroom homes on the site.
Well, the Black Country's future is looking ever brighter,
and this auction lot provides the opportunity to regenerate
a forgotten piece of land
and potentially make some good profits in the bargain.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Our next lot is lot 23.
60,000 to get it started.
At £60,000 in my bid.
At 50, then. I won't go lower. What a buy this will be.
At £50,000 to get it started.
At 50 I have, and thank you.
At 50,000, do I have 75?
At 75, and thank you, sir.
At 80, 85, then.
At 85, is it 90?
At 90. At 95.
At 95, thank you, sir.
Is that 92, is it?
At 92, is it 95? 94.
96, is it? 95. 95.
96, 96. 97, gents?
98. Is it 99, gentlemen?
99, is it 100?
99 and a half. Sir, just another 500, if you fill it up for me.
Thank you. 100,000 bid.
At £100,000 on sale, gentlemen, once,
are we all done? Twice.
Third and last time at £100,000.
Sold. Gentlemen, that is yours. Well done.
That successful bid of £100,000
came from local property developer Trevor.
He's built 19 properties so far,
everything from flats to detached houses.
-Trevor, really good to meet you.
-How are you doing, all right?
-You've bought yourself a forest.
Yes, that's right, yes.
What was it about it that you thought makes a viable proposition?
Well, the real reason was...
I probably wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't for, obviously,
the new development being built at the other side.
Sandwell Council obviously sold this.
They done the planning statement to put residential
on this piece of land, so that's the real reason why I bought it.
So although it hasn't got planning permission,
it's got a pretty big indication
that planning permission will be approved.
Yeah, it shouldn't be a problem. Fingers crossed, anyway!
So what are you actually going to build on here, then?
Well, the plan is to build ten houses.
Eight three-bed houses and two two-and-a-half-storey,
which are like three or four-bed houses.
So we're looking at a build cost of about £625,000.
And do you have any idea what the resale value
of the whole development might be?
The resale of the whole development,
I'm looking at GDV of about 1.4 million.
OK, so 625 to build them, plus...
-Plus my 100 for the land.
1.4 to sell them, plus sales costs and stuff.
Yeah, that's all tied up with it.
-I'm looking, probably, to fetch back 700,000 on this piece of land.
-It's just luck of the draw, isn't it?
What are the hurdles in between now
and you being three quarters of a million quid better off?
The main plan is now get planning permission in.
I've also actually got a six-inch pipe
running diagonally through the land.
What kind of pipe?
-It's a sewerage pipe.
Obviously, my plan is to redirect it round the boundary of the side.
Hopefully, I can permission from Severn Trent to do the works
and, obviously, get my own ground workers to do the job for me.
Once I'm out the ground, it's straightforward.
MUSIC: "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by The Eagles
Trevor's plan was to clear the place out
and then get full planning permission
to build eight three-bed houses
and two four-bed houses on the plot.
He was aiming to turn the whole thing round in 15 months
and his budget was a cool £625,000.
But when we returned almost a year and a half after our first visit,
the project still had some way to run.
MUSIC: "Keep On Running" by The Spencer Davis Group
In Trevor's defence, getting planning permission took much longer
than anticipated and his team had only been on site for four months.
Trevor reminded us of what the plan was.
Well, my initial plan is to build...
We've got plots one and two, which are both three-bed end semis.
We've got plots three, four and five, which are also three-beds.
We've got plots six, seven, eight and nine.
Six and nine are both three-bed end semis.
Plots seven and eight are two-and-a-half-storey four-beds.
Finally, we've got plot ten, which is a three-bed detached house.
Laidback Trevor's only real concern was a sewer pipe
running across the site,
but that turned out to be easy enough to move.
He thought it might take another eight months
to finish all ten houses off,
but how was his planned £625,000 budget faring?
The budget I'm working on is 572,000.
That revised budget was £53,000 lower than Trevor had anticipated.
It meant he was on course for a total spend of £672,000
and he was delighted to have already sold all ten properties
to a housing association for an undisclosed figure.
Join us later in the programme
when we return two years after our first visit to discover if Trevor
kept to his budget and how the properties eventually turned out.
Coming up, this Shropshire maisonette could rent out
very nicely indeed.
It is a bit boxy, but it's in fantastic condition.
We revisit Tipton in the West Midlands to catch up with Trevor
and see if his development of ten houses made him shedloads of cash.
But first, back in Cornwall, Nikki saved this cottage
and the environment.
I like to recycle and I like to be as eco-friendly as possible.
We now return to the south west of England and beautiful Polperro.
This picturesque Cornish village is steeped in the history
of smuggling and pirates.
The booty was this two-bed colonial-style cottage
on a hill overlooking the harbour.
It was bought on a whim by Nikki.
She had in fact intended to buy a second property in Torquay.
This was to add to the one she was already refurbishing there,
having moved down from London a couple of months earlier.
-How much research on it had you done?
Look at it in the car on the way down.
You could have really messed up doing that,
-you know that, don't you?
-Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The cottage was very dated
and needed a full refurbishment.
She had a budget of £15,000-£20,000 to refurbish it
and her plan was to let it.
We left Nikki to it for eight months
and then returned to Polperro for an update with her.
And there's no question about it,
the finish here has most definitely got the wow factor!
The wall dividing the former kitchen has been removed,
making it a beautiful, large,
light and open room.
Here we go.
New kitchen, bit of a change from the first kitchen that you saw.
What I've done,
I went to a bespoke kitchen supplier
who made these units for me.
We haven't got gas here,
so we've got a new halogen hob,
oven, extractor fan.
And this...was part of a wall.
We knocked it all out,
found this fireplace.
This is all lime-rendered
and these are reclaimed tiles
from the place I also have in Torquay,
and this flooring is all bamboo.
Well, the bamboo flooring
certainly works really well here.
# Wednesday is the day of rest
# In the house with the bamboo floor... #
The bamboo floor certainly floats my boat
and takes you through into the living room.
I'm really loving the gorgeous look Nikki's achieved here.
She had the same builders she employed on her Torquay property,
but his team have had to tackle a lot of issues here.
There's a lot of rot, wood rot,
so we had the floors taken up, ceiling taken out,
and there was no insulation.
So then I've put in hemp for insulation.
I like to recycle
and I like to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Apart from all that, the property needed rewiring
and the heating's been replaced.
Nikki was going to develop the property
with her developer friend Rob, but he's moved on.
However, her builder Martin's been very busy here.
It's amazing the job you did, Martin,
considering this had completely collapsed and you've rebuilt it.
Still a few bits and bobs to do.
We spent two or three weeks more work here,
but it took two tons of sand, just this part here.
We're just trying to maintain everything in the garden
that is naturally growing.
This water trickles down, and you can hear it at night
when you're in the bedroom.
And the other side, where the other bedroom is, you have a stream.
So you have both. It's just magical, actually.
It's like a little pixie grotto.
# Ixie Dixie pixie pie... #
So have the pixies been spreading magic money around,
or has Nikki's budget fallen foul
of the big, bad spending monster?
Initially I thought the outlay would be about 20,000-25,000,
but realistically I probably have spent out about 45,000.
That £45,000 budget
on top of the £125,000 she spent at auction
takes Nikki's total outlay to £165,500.
Let's see if two property experts
think that's been a good investment.
When I first came here it was very plain, very down on its luck.
Contrasting with today, it's just clean and fresh.
They've made a lovely flow
from the kitchen through to the living area.
They've done a really top-quality job.
I think it'll really appeal as a holiday let to people,
the finish is really, really good.
The high-gloss bamboo flooring,
you've got some really, really nice window furniture.
The fireplaces using the lime finish,
it does really, really show the property off.
There's no shortage of holiday apartments
in this pretty Cornish village,
but this is definitely different.
So how much could this cottage achieve for a holiday let?
As a holiday let,
I think the property would achieve in the region of £600-£650 per week.
As a holiday let,
your core hot weeks in the summer
would be about £650 per week,
which, interestingly, is very similar
to the kind of rule of thumb that that weekly rate
is the sort of monthly rate
if you rented it out on a assured shorthold tenancy.
Thus, £650 per calendar month.
On an assured shorthold tenancy basis,
I think the property would achieve
in the region of £650 per calendar month.
If the cottage was let on an assured shorthold tenancy for a year,
it would generate a yield of almost 5%.
Holiday lets do pay more,
but not necessarily for the whole year, of course.
Meanwhile, it sounds like Nikki's had a change of heart.
I want the house to be looked after,
and a holiday let, you don't know what's going to go on,
who's going to be there.
So, to be honest, I want someone to buy the house and look after it.
So, a loving, caring buyer required,
but will they pay more than the £165,500 Nikki's invested?
I'd expect to see it marketed at £225,000-£250,000.
Put it out there, light the blue touchpaper,
and see what happens.
I would see it certainly achieving in excess of £250,000,
quite possibly leaning much closer towards the 300 mark.
That valuation range from £225,000-£300,000
would produce a gross profit
of around £60,000 to around £135,000
before tax and expenses.
I was looking at around about 275,000,
but I was going to market it for 300,000.
Well, fingers crossed - who knows.
This is one of these properties you see
and instantly fall in love with,
as Nikki's discovered.
It's been a great experience.
I also know a lot of the history about the house,
where it came from. Gone into the archives.
It was imported from Canada
and there were only three of them imported in about 1919
and this one needed a lot of TLC,
which it's got from me.
The town of Telford is named after the famous engineer Thomas Telford,
but this modern town centre
with its shopping mall and smart, shiny office blocks
now shows little evidence of its industrial heritage.
There's no traditional high street here
because Telford's a new town.
It was made up of a series of smaller towns
which merged together in the '60s and '70s.
One of the towns gobbled up by Telford was Dawley,
one of the oldest settlements in Shropshire.
It did at one point have its own castle,
sadly no longer standing.
So, in the absence of turrets and a moat,
what does Dawley have on offer today?
Well, how about a three-bedroom maisonette in this development
with a guide price of just £35,000?
It's a big development,
typical of that new-town expansion.
And 35,000 for a three-bedroom property -
well, it seems like a bit of a snip.
The stairwell up to the maisonette is more functional than fabulous,
but it's clean and well-maintained.
There's a little exterior walkway leading to the front door itself.
It feels like a solid house when you walk in here
with the staircase going up there.
It doesn't have a maisonette feel to it at all
but it's in really good condition.
A lovely, spacious kitchen,
although obviously you're going to need to change all the units.
But something really exciting - I spy a new boiler in there,
that's going to save you about a grand straightaway.
So, the reception room, fantastic. Look at it!
The paintwork's in good condition,
you obviously need to put some carpet down.
A really, really pretty view out there to the communal gardens.
All right, there's not much character to shout about, it is a bit boxy,
but it's in fantastic condition,
and the guide price - 35,000.
For that guide price
you might expect something in pretty poor nick,
or with a significant downside.
But here, so far as I can see,
you've got a good-sized, bright, clean and well-maintained property,
with the bonus of what appears to be a decent central-heating system.
Onwards and upwards!
Now, upstairs, sadly it feels a little more pinched.
It's certainly not got that airy, spacious feel about it.
So you've got a single room there, it would be fine for one of the kids.
A really good-sized double, marvellous,
with lovely views looking over Shropshire.
A very pink bathroom. Yes, very marshmallow-like.
And I'd probably call this a cot room,
you would get a single bed in, but it would be a squeeze.
But I don't care about any of that,
because I'm going to say it again.
The guide price - £35,000.
I thank you.
And now for my next trick,
ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to reveal
how this maisonette can transform into a nice little earner.
Low-value properties are not always the ones
to make you buckets of instant cash,
but they're often the ones that will bring you in a fabulous rental yield.
For example, buy this one for the guide price of 35,000,
spend ten grand including fees bringing it up to scratch,
rent for, let's say, £500 a month,
that's around a 13% yield.
And that is really, really worth thinking about.
So, without even really trying,
this auction lot could plump up your bank balance
very nicely indeed.
MUSIC: "A Kind of Magic" by Queen
We asked the local estate agent for his thoughts on this place.
The area's good value for money,
it is a little bit better than it has been in the past.
It's very easy to get places from here, it's very central to Telford.
You would need to keep to quite a tight budget,
you wouldn't want to spend an awful lot on the property,
but in fairness I don't think it needs it, really.
Just basic cosmetics.
Once some work was done, what could it let for?
I would expect this place to get
around about £550 per calendar month.
And what if it was sold on?
Done up to a reasonable standard,
it should be worth in the region of about £70,000.
This is a neat, easy little investment.
It might never make you the big bucks,
but if you're after a steady stream in rental return
then it could be your thing.
Let's see who thought it was theirs at the auction.
25 then. Started at 25. 25 bid, standing. At 25,000.
30 can we say now?
30. At 30,000.
34. 35. 36.
No. At £38,000, seated.
39 anywhere else?
38 and a half.
No? At £40,000, seated.
At 40,000. Another 500 anywhere else.
42,000. 42,500. 43,000.
43,000, gentleman's bid there.
£43,000. Another 500 anywhere else? If not, I'm...
Back in? 43,500.
We're 43,500. 44,000.
47,000. 47,500. 47,500.
48,000. And a half?
Nope? 48 and a half.
Lady's bid. Third row. £48,500.
48,500 once. 48,500 twice.
Third and last time, 48,500...
Your lot. Well done.
'That successful bid of 48,500
'came from husband and wife Clark and Adrienne.
'They're full-time property developers
'and if they seem familiar,
'well, that's because we've had them on the show before.
'Back in 2011 they bought another property in Dawley
'and they were keeping their options open.'
-If they don't sell because of the market then we'll rent.
You're talking about "they". What do you mean "they"?
Well, we bought more than one.
-At the same auction.
-Straight after this.
-Oh, did you?!
-Yes, the next lot.
-And then about five or six lots later.
They actually brought three properties
at that particular auction.
And old habits die hard.
Because at this latest auction they didn't buy just one,
they bought two!
This one and its neighbour.
Let's find out their plans for the pair.
# I got double trouble
# I got double trouble
# I got double trouble
# Twice as much as anybody else Oh, yeah... #
You're still in and around this area.
The last one was literally about 50 metres that way.
So we did that, sold it...
-Did you make a profit? How well did you do?
-Yeah, we made a profit.
It wasn't huge, but it was a profit. So that's fine.
Let's talk about auction day. There you were, bidding for this property.
-Who did the bidding?
-I bid. I bid up to 42,000 and stopped.
So what were the rules on the day? You only wanted to pay £42,000 for this.
-That's all I wanted to pay, yes.
-And what happened next?
I carried on.
'And Adrienne carried on
'for another £6,500.
'But she felt it was worth it,
'as Clark had just bought its neighbour.'
How much did you pay for the next-door property, Clark?
-I got that for 37,000.
-Ooh, so that makes this one look quite expensive.
How do you feel about having paid a bit more for this one?
Mmm, not too bad because, well, in my estimation,
what I do is I average them out.
So we're talking 42,500...each.
I think it is an absolutely fantastic idea
that you've bought one next door to the other.
It's amazing, because you can get the same team of builders,
they can work on them together.
-I mean, it really does work out, doesn't it?
-Oh, yes, yes.
It's definitely got advantages
from having one on one side of town and one on the other.
Logistically it's just so much better.
What are you going to do with this property?
It's virtually ready to go,
but we will be doing new kitchen, new bathroom, decorating through.
Biggest expense will be new double glazing.
Have you worked out your budget for this property?
And who's going to do most of the work?
Are you guys going to spend a lot of time here working on it yourselves?
-No. We've built up quite a good team now.
Plasterer, painter, plumber...
Joiner, gas man.
Yeah, we've got the team ready.
It's great they have a team already set up,
and it's obviously one they trust, as they've worked with them before.
The couple's plan is to buy up as much property as they can now
while prices are low,
and then they can move their workmen from one to the other,
to get them ready for selling or renting.
What is it about this that you love so much?
Apart from the money?
Well, the biggest thing, I think, is turning round what can be some
really horrible properties, especially the last one you showed.
and turning it into
something that people really enjoy and really love having.
We had a young couple take over a property.
It was their first property and it is great just to see them moving in
and having the property. And they really like it.
We get satisfaction from that.
As a couple, do you both enjoy doing this?
Is this something that you talk about all the time?
Is it something that really gets you excited?
-We talk about it constantly.
-Do you really? Do you?!
Everybody talks about property. Is it something you both enjoy doing, as a couple?
-It has its moments, but, yeah, generally speaking, it is a great job.
-It has been fabulous meeting you. Good luck. I can't wait to see the outcome.
-Well done. Lovely to meet you. Thank you.
Well, Clark and Adrienne can't stop talking about property -
or buying it, for that matter.
Even though this one cost much more than next door,
I still think it's a great buy. Find out how it all goes, later in the show.
Now, getting your property at the right price
is the first step to success and it's vital you get that right.
The next stage is just as important.
Sticking to plans and budgets is the best route to a decent profit.
So, time to find out how our buyers have got on.
Back now to the West Midlands.
and an auction lot we first visited in June, 2011.
Full-time property developer Trevor bought this plot of land in Tipton
for £100,000. The council had sold the plot and although
it didn't have planning permission, Trevor was confident his plans
would get approval.
So, what are you actually going to build on here?
The plan is to build ten houses -
eight three-bed houses
and two two-and-a-half storey, which is like three/four bed houses.
So, looking at a build cost of about £625,000.
When we first returned, in November 2012,
Trevor's team had only been on site
for four months.
# Knock me down with a feather
# Clever Trevor. #
Plots one to five, which were three-bed properties
were the most advanced. The three-bed detached house
was also taking shape and work on the remaining
four properties was just starting.
With some clever shopping around,
Trevor had managed to reduce his budget by £53,000, to 572 grand.
# Clever Trevor. #
Well, it is now seven months
later and all ten houses
The two largest properties are the middle pair of semis
in the centre of the development.
Trevor was delighted to have sold all ten of them
to a housing association.
But he soon discovered they wanted some modifications.
It's been a bit of a learning curve,
working with the housing association.
Originally, this house was planned as a four-bed house,
but because of the criteria of the housing association
for their government funding, the rooms have to be bigger.
So, whereas, originally, this was going to be two bedrooms,
I have had to take the wall down and obviously make it one full room.
And there's more.
The housing association has asked me to put a lockable cabinet in,
obviously, for the family to keep their medicine in, to keep it safe.
There were eco details, too.
A proper recycling bin, for all the household waste.
And there were features to include outside.
30 metres of washing line....
..and a water butt. And a shed and, also, a clamp for a bike.
# You have that extra something
# The mint sauce and the lamb
# The doughnut and the jam. #
All useful additions and the houses all have solar panels,
plus a downstairs loo.
The larger bedroom sizes, which the housing association required,
meant the two largest mid-terraces still have a bedroom
up in the attic area,
but now only have three - instead of four - bedrooms.
That means the development has ended up with seven two-bedroom semis,
while the two larger semis and the detached house
have three bedrooms each.
All the houses have now been finished
to the same exacting specifications.
Every week, a clerk of works comes to the site to make sure that
our standard of work is up to scratch.
In some of the rooms, we have had to put some bulkheads,
where the staircases go upstairs. We have actually... Obviously,
the plasterer has formed an arch.
The clerk of works was completely amazed.
He has also been taking pictures of it, to show other developers
that this is what he wants. So that makes me really proud.
Having guys on site who can do tasks which,
normally, they wouldn't probably see in another house.
Trevor's builders are just finishing off the road
at the back of the development.
Eight of the properties are already tenanted
by the housing association and the last two are being handed over
in the next week. I wonder, did Trevor
manage to keep to his budget of £572,000?
The budget - I would say I am probably about £40,000 over.
OK. Add that £612,000 to the £100,000 Trevor paid at auction
and it takes his total investment here to £712,000.
Trevor's family have been keen to see the finished houses
and find out just what Dad's been up to.
'With my three kids - Kyle, who is nearly 10,
'Mia, who is eight and little Harry, who is 17 months old,
'they come and see what I am up to. They get involved,
'especially the oldest, my son. You never know, one day,
'all three of them might get involved and carry it on
'in their own way.'
We invited the two local estate agents who initially saw the houses
to return and give us their opinions on these now-finished properties.
The progress has been fantastic. Obviously, when we were here before,
it was just a shell. Now, the properties
are fully built. The standard of finish is very, very good.
They have spent the money on the kitchen and bathroom,
the main important areas that people are looking for when moving in.
The finish to the properties is very high. We have got double glazing,
central heating and, in this property,
there is a second floor, with a nice large bedroom.
Trevor has already sold all ten properties to a housing association,
but what do the estate agents think they could have
sold for on the open market? More than the £712,000 Trevor's invested?
If these properties were to be sold individually,
then I would imagine that the two-bedroom properties would sell
for around the £90,000 and the three-bedroomed would realise
somewhere in the region of about £110,000.
The detached property that is on here,
the single detached property, in the region of £135,000-£140,000.
I would expect in the region of £90,000-£95,000
for the two-bedroom properties and £110,000-£115,000
for the three-bedroom properties. The three-bedroom detached property,
I would expect in the region of about £130,000-£135,000.
Based on those valuations, if all ten properties
were sold on the open market, they might have achieved
between £980,000 and £1,350,000, before tax and expenses.
But clever Trevor has already sold them to a housing association.
So, how much did he get for that?
I have sold them for just over 1.2 million.
At the end of the day, I have given the housing association
a decent discount, but, then again, I am not stuck with the houses.
Now, that is what I call a win-win situation.
Trevor has totted up a £488,000 profit, before tax and expenses.
It is academic, but interesting to know,
that the estate agents believe that, if all ten properties had been let,
with the reduced number of bedrooms, there would have been a yield
of around 9%. Now the project is nearing completion,
what's next for Trevor?
Obviously, my kids and all my family have been patient,
while I have been working long hours,
trying to get these houses finished. Obviously, they're only going to be
young once, so the plan is to spend time with them
then get ready to start up again.
Back now to Dawley in Telford, Shropshire, where Clark and Adrianne
purchased this three-bedroom maisonette for £48,500.
The couple are no strangers to property development.
In fact, they are not even strangers to this block.
# It takes two, baby Me and you. #
I think it is an absolutely fantastic idea
that you have bought one next door to the other. It's amazing,
because you can get the same team of builders, they can work on them together.
It really does work out.
Oh, yes, yes. It definitely has got advantages, from having one
on one side of the town and one on the other. Logistically, it is just so much better.
What is it about this that you love so much?
Apart from the money?
Well, the biggest thing, I think, is turning round what can be
some really horrible properties
and turning it into
something that people really enjoy and love having.
And was it better? They had the renovation budget of around £6,000.
We went back ten months later, to see the fruits of their labours.
# You're playing Two can play that game
# Can play that game Yeah, two can play that game
# Can play that game... #
Initially, I thought this flat was in an OK condition,
but Clark and Adrienne decided they wanted to make it even better.
I think they have succeeded.
# Two can play at that game
# You're playing Two can play that game.... #
This has been a fairly straightforward one.
We got here by, initially, doing the windows.
They were aluminium frames, which were white,
but they were not double glazed, they were just single glaze.
Then, there was a kitchen fitted, the bathroom pulled out and redone.
When in the bathrooms, we always fully tile them.
We put showers in. We like putting a rain shower in.
Then painting, any plastering that needed doing
and carpets and, then, that's basically it.
So, this is a fairly straightforward one.
It looks like this happy couple are pleased with the renovation,
but how did they get on with each other?
'OK, I'm sure he's joking!'
We had our moments, especially when there were a few
"design discussions", about whether this goes there, that goes there
and what have you. But we generally stick to the same pattern,
so it doesn't... We don't have many, do we?
-One or two.
One thing they DO agree on, is good-quality renovations.
Well, we always feel that if we do a place up
to a very good standard, then we will get good tenants.
We wouldn't ask someone to live in a place we wouldn't live in ourselves.
People are really happy with them when they see them. So it works, so we stick to it.
Delays did push them a little behind schedule,
especially when another property caught their eye.
Well, we had said we would get them finished within about six weeks.
That was the plan. Unfortunately, we got delayed
with the other properties that we were doing.
Then it got into the winter, so we just locked them up
for the time being, because we go to Spain for the winter.
And then we get a bit delayed coming back from Spain,
because we've been negotiating for a renovation property in Spain.
Back in Blighty, did they stick to their original budget?
I think our budget has been on track.
I think it has been about 6,500, including any costs.
We try and keep them under 6,000.
I don't think there's been much over the norm to do on this one.
The changes seem to be straightforward. Or were they?
Originally, the boiler was in this cupboard here.
So, what we have had done, we have had it taken out of there
and what we then did was had it moved into this cupboard here.
So what we have then got now here is we have got a new kitchen in,
new worktops, sink, cooker. We have tiled it all throughout,
all painted, new flooring and we even managed to get a table in.
What we have ended up with now is a fair-sized family kitchen-diner.
I'm sure Clark won't find Adrienne disagreeing there.
We asked two local estate agents
to give us their opinions of the couple's efforts.
They have made a remarkable improvement to the property.
They have done a fantastic job.
Plenty of Magnolia, neutral colours, white woodwork.
really great bathroom and kitchen.
It's been refurbished in a fairly modern style,
particularly the kitchens and bathrooms.
They have pretty much maximised the accommodation available here.
The kitchen will stand out. It is modern looking,
it has the nice tiling, contemporary colour.
Adrienne and Clark bought the property for £48,500
and spent around 6,500 refurbishing it.
That brings their total outlay to 55,000.
So, will their high standards have increased its resale value now?
If I was looking to place this property on the market,
I would have an asking price of £72,500
with a view to achieving a sale price of £70,000.
I would recommend an asking price of round about £70,000,
with a view to achieving as close to that is possible.
That would give the couple a profit of £15,000, minus tax and expenses.
What do they make of that?
We probably think we would get somewhere in the region
of closer to 75, in view of other properties
which are smaller than this which are achieving that.
I think we can get a little more, but that's fine.
Clark and Adrienne are not too interested in the resale value,
as their plan is to let it.
So, let's hope those valuations are more to their liking.
In the rental market, I would expect this property to achieve
a rent of £500 per calendar month.
The property is an ideal rental prospect
and I would recommend they look at around the £500 per calendar month.
A touch low, because it is a three-bedroom property
and the normal going rate for a three-bedroomed is 550.
And we have had people interested at that price.
If Clark and Adrienne do manage to get their figure of £550 a month
that would give them a healthy 12% yield. However, as it turns out,
they won't be getting that rent right away.
My son is moving in until he completes on a property
that he is buying. Hopefully, he will be moving out very soon.
Our negotiations on the property in Spain will be going through soon
and then, that will be in the winter time
that we will go over and start work on that one.
Has all this whetted your appetite for buying property at auction?
If so, there will be more interesting auction stories for you next time...
-..on Homes Under The Hammer.
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a wooden house in Polperro, a development in the Midlands and a flat in Shropshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what was paid when the properties went under the hammer.